Your Unborn Baby
Click the headings below to read Your Unborn Baby here.
Recent developments in antenatal screening mean that many chromosomal problems are now diagnosed before birth, and it is NHS policy for health professionals to counsel women so they can make an informed decision whether or not to undergo screening.
Your Unborn Baby was compiled by Rachel Attwell, Jenny Robbins, and Christine Rose, with the help of SOFT medical advisers and families affected by trisomy 13/18 who have shared their own personal experiences.
There are 22 pairs of chromosomes, numbered 1-22 in order of size, and a pair of sex chromosomes, XX in females and XY in males, making a total of 46 chromosomes in each normal human cell.
The tri in the word trisomy means three. In each cell there is one set of three identical chromosomes among the normal pairs.
Various related disorders are explained.
Detailed genetic information.
SOFT UK would like to acknowledge the valuable contribution from Dr Lucy Kean Consultant Obstetrician and Subspecialist in Fetal Medicine, and Lorna Parsons Midwife, of the Fetal Care Unit, Nottingham University Hospitals, City Campus.
At present the only way during pregnancy to obtain definite information about a baby's chromosomes, (i.e. to rule out or confirm a chromosome abnormality), is by a diagnostic test, e.g. amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling (CVS), or cordocentesis.
By Dr Una MacFadyen, Consultant Paediatrician and Medical Adviser to SOFT UK.
When trisomy 13 or 18 is diagnosed during pregnancy, full information about the condition may not be available immediately. Parents are given the choice of continuing or terminating the pregnancy.
See also How Brothers and Sisters are affected.
Termination is not an easy option. It is traumatic and sad. The grief andemotional pain can be overwhelming, and couples should have time totalk through the details of the termination and discuss any fears, questions,or special requirements.